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Queens teen found dead in Bay Shore was shot in head, cops say

Suffolk police investigators stand in front of a

Suffolk police investigators stand in front of a park on Spur Drive Park in Bay Shore on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. A day earlier, the body of Jonathan A. Graff, 17, of Queens, was found by a man walking a dog in the park, police said. Photo Credit: Ed Betz / SCPD

Police cars swarmed a small neighborhood park in Bay Shore Saturday as investigators hunted for clues in the shooting death of a Queens teenager.

The body of Jonathan A. Graff, 17, was found about 4:15 p.m. Friday by a man walking a dog in Spur Drive Park. Graff was reported missing earlier that day by his mother, police said, and was last seen Thursday near the Long Island Rail Road station in Jamaica, about a mile from his home.

Graff had been shot in the head, police said.

Police are awaiting autopsy results "to determine how many times he was shot," said Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad. He declined to discuss a possible motive.

The park was cordoned off by patrol cars and crime scene tape Saturday, and grass near the entrance on Spur Drive South and Potter Boulevard was dotted with green evidence markers, with small tents, used to protect evidence, erected in some spots.

Located just south of the Southern State Parkway, the park is nestled in the back of a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood of modest single-family homes. But neighbors said the park's reputation has worsened over the years.

Nancy Liguori has lived in her Potter Boulevard home for 61 years. "The neighborhood is pretty quiet and the park was always nice, I brought my children there," Liguori said. "But in recent years there have been things in the park -- fights and things -- and one time there were helicopters circling overhead because a bank robber had run over there."

A man who lives on nearby Peters Boulevard but did not want to be named said he thought he heard gunshots near the park Thursday about 10:30 p.m.

In the Kew Gardens neighborhood where Graff lived with his family, a young man who identified himself as Graff's brother declined to comment yesterday afternoon. Some of Graff's acquaintances, who did not want to be named, said he was a "good kid" who had an older and younger brother.

An NYPD spokeswoman said Graff also had been reported missing from the 102nd Precinct, which covers Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens and Jamaica, in April.

Suffolk detectives ask anyone with information to call 800-220-TIPS or the homicide squad at 631-852-6392.

With Lauren R. Harrison


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